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Rich Gause
01-23-2011, 01:19 AM
Here is the rule we playtested:

1) Defender positions all terrain as current DBA rules.

2) Attacker rolls 1d6 for each area terrain piece. On a 1-2 he may shift that piece up to 1 Base Width(BW) in any direction, or rotate it up to 45 degrees. Move that piece before making further rolls. The terrain must be legal by the rules after the move.

3) If the table has no Bad Going(BGo) within 600p of the center of the battlefield, the attacker rolls d6 once more and on a 1-2 he may move the smallest piece of BGo as he wishes so that it is within 600p of the center of the battlefield, or place a new piece of BGo no more than 2BWx2BW in size within 600p of the center of the battlefield. The terrain must be legal by the rules after the move or addition. If the attacker places such a new piece the defender gets a chance to adjust it as in step 2) above.

4) After all adjustments, roll for board edge as normal.

Rich Gause
01-23-2011, 01:34 AM
We playtested this terrain adjustment rule at our FADBAG DBA day in Kissimmee on 1/22/11 and it is so superior to the current rules that I would want to include it in any DBA event I ever play in. It should be given very serious consideration for DBA 3.0 IMO. I think the 1-2 die roll needed is just right for the moves and/or addition. 1 is absolutely too low and I think 1-3 would be too high for step two, and for sure too high for step 3. We had 15 games of DBA-RRR then 15 games of DBA, both on 30" boards. It definitely affected my terrain placement decisions as defender. Every game I put a small or larger patch of bad going within 4.5" away from the center. I didn't want the attacker to have a chance to move it outside of 6" and then have a chance to place another piece. One constricted battlefield with two big steep hills and two woods(I was playing Serbians with 7 Aux) that I set up had two of the pieces moved further out which lessened the favoribility of the terrain to me without eliminating my advantage entirely. I think the rule worked exactly like it was supposed to. It makes armies that are terrain dependent, especially ones with higher aggression, a lot more playable IMO. I believe it would work equally well with 24" boards and will try it next time I play on them, even though I am convinced at this point 30" boards make for a better game.

Tony Aguilar
01-23-2011, 09:24 AM
We playtested this terrain adjustment rule at our FADBAG DBA day in Kissimmee on 1/22/11 and it is so superior to the current rules that I would want to include it in any DBA event I ever play in.

Yep, I'll probably include it in any event I run. :)


I believe it would work equally well with 24" boards and will try it next time I play on them, even though I am convinced at this point 30" boards make for a better game.

I have never seen 30" boards shine as well as they did yesterday. With the terrain rules and the larger board and the alternate terrain rules in play I suspect we will see more of those lighter, bad going armies.

Paul Potter
01-23-2011, 10:24 AM
Interesting. Were there any negatives? -Paul

Rich Gause
01-23-2011, 10:32 AM
Interesting. Were there any negatives? -Paul

None that I can think of. Off hand it might not seem like having a minimal size piece of bad going near the center of the board would make that much of a difference, but it really does compared to the standard postage stamps on opposite ends that is usually seen.

SteveW
01-23-2011, 10:32 AM
Are there any thoughts as to how this type of system would work for BBDBA?

Steve

Martin Smith
01-23-2011, 10:39 AM
Here is the rule we playtested:

1) Defender positions all terrain as current DBA rules.

2) Attacker rolls 1d6 for each area terrain piece. On a 1-2 he may shift that piece up to 1 Base Width(BW) in any direction, or rotate it up to 45 degrees. Move that piece before making further rolls. The terrain must be legal by the rules after the move.

3) If the table has no Bad Going(BGo) within 600p of the center of the battlefield, the attacker rolls d6 once more and on a 1-2 he may move the smallest piece of BGo as he wishes so that it is within 600p of the center of the battlefield, or place a new piece of BGo no more than 2BWx2BW in size within 600p of the center of the battlefield. The terrain must be legal by the rules after the move or addition.

4) After all adjustments, roll for board edge as normal.

Is there still a requirement for a BWD between area features AFTER the rotation or movement of the terrain piece(s) ?? Is that what is meant by 'legal by the rules after the move'?
Martin

Tony Aguilar
01-23-2011, 10:51 AM
Is there still a requirement for a BWD between area features AFTER the rotation or movement of the terrain piece(s) ?? Is that what is meant by 'legal by the rules after the move'?
Martin

Yes- and you still need to have:
1) At least 3 quarters must include part of a terrain feature
2) At least 2 quarters must include a Waterway, River or some bad going
3) It cannot include more than 1 each of Waterway, River, Oasis or BUA, or more than 2 each of any optional type of feature.

Rich Gause
01-23-2011, 11:02 AM
The other nice thing is it should add less than a minute to setup time. As the attacker how long does it take to roll up to 5 dice and move terrain a base width in towards the center or out towards the edge if you roll a one or two? 20 seconds maybe tops??, unless you are prone to dithering..........

Tony Aguilar
01-23-2011, 11:08 AM
It is also OPTIONAL. There were two of the battles where I liked the terrain the defender had setup just how it was and saw no need to adjust it.

ferrency
01-23-2011, 11:10 AM
One big question here:

Do these rules describe things the attacker MUST do, or things they MAY do? Specifically, with regards to ensuring there is terrain within 600p of the center of the board: is this required by the attacker?

It seems to me that if two mounted armies want to face off on a pool table, they should be allowed to. If the attacker doesn't mind that the defender set up a pool table, are they still required to move terrain into the center?

It may be that it would be better to ignore me, and change the base "legal terrain" rules to more closely match HOTT's: require an area terrain piece within 600p of the center for any board to be legal. That would make the may/must question moot.

EDIT: Doh. Note to self: read before posting. Thanks Tony :)

Alan

Tony Aguilar
01-23-2011, 11:12 AM
One big question here:

Do these rules describe things the attacker MUST do, or things they MAY do? Specifically, with regards to ensuring there is terrain within 600p of the center of the board: is this required by the attacker?

It seems to me that if two mounted armies want to face off on a pool table, they should be allowed to. If the attacker doesn't mind that the defender set up a pool table, are they still required to move terrain into the center?



May. Pool tables are still ok if both players want them.

1) Defender positions all terrain as current DBA rules.

2) Attacker rolls 1d6 for each area terrain piece. On a 1-2 he may shift that piece up to 1 Base Width(BW) in any direction, or rotate it up to 45 degrees. Move that piece before making further rolls. The terrain must be legal by the rules after the move.

3) If the table has no Bad Going(BGo) within 600p of the center of the battlefield, the attacker rolls d6 once more and on a 1-2 he may move the smallest piece of BGo as he wishes so that it is within 600p of the center of the battlefield, or place a new piece of BGo no more than 2BWx2BW in size within 600p of the center of the battlefield. The terrain must be legal by the rules after the move or addition.

4) After all adjustments, roll for board edge as normal.

Rich Gause
01-23-2011, 11:20 AM
One big question here:

Do these rules describe things the attacker MUST do, or things they MAY do? Specifically, with regards to ensuring there is terrain within 600p of the center of the board: is this required by the attacker?

It seems to me that if two mounted armies want to face off on a pool table, they should be allowed to. If the attacker doesn't mind that the defender set up a pool table, are they still required to move terrain into the center?

It may be that it would be better to ignore me, and change the base "legal terrain" rules to more closely match HOTT's: require an area terrain piece within 600p of the center for any board to be legal. That would make the may/must question moot.

EDIT: Doh. Note to self: read before posting. Thanks Tony :)

Alan

The HOTT rule would not be as good. There would then be no option to fight on a pool table even if both players wanted to. Sometimes armies did fight on fairly open terrain with bad going only around the battlefield edges and it should be allowed by the rules.

kontos
01-23-2011, 11:32 AM
The HOTT rule would not be as good. There would then be no option to fight on a pool table even if both players wanted to. Sometimes armies did fight on fairly open terrain with bad going only around the battlefield edges and it should be allowed by the rules.

Guagamela for instance. :up

Rich Gause
01-23-2011, 11:34 AM
Guagamela for instance. :up

Exactly, or inumerable unnamed Steppe battlefields between LH armies........

Pavane
01-23-2011, 11:57 AM
For BBDBA, the house rule can be used as written, except use two centre points (of each 30" x 24" section) for BGo proximity instead of just one.

david kuijt
01-23-2011, 02:56 PM
For BBDBA, the house rule can be used as written, except use two centre points (of each 30" x 24" section) for BGo proximity instead of just one.

That would be the simplest with the current BBDBA terrain, yes.

In a perfect world, though, 30" boards would be adopted in the rulebook. Then the BBDBA mapboard wouldn't require the NASAMW size fix (play on a 60"x24" map) -- it would be two 30" boards, and the width would be fine.

If that happened, the BBDBA terrain rules might require a bit of modification. Going with two square "legal small DBA" boards, each rotated independently, would solve the linear middle-ridge board issue that moderately plagues BBDBA right now.

But hey, that's all building sky castles. For right now, your suggestion is perfectly fine, I think.

winterbadger
01-24-2011, 07:57 PM
Guagamela for instance. :up


Who was fighting in Guagamela? The Guagamalans and the Aztecs? :silly

Foge
01-25-2011, 02:16 PM
Did anyone attempt to use the degenerate 'X' terrain setups? If so, did the changes make a big difference?

Also, how did it affect situations where people used the maximum amount of terrain? It doesn't seem like it would affect things all that much, but would be encouraged if it did.

Tony Aguilar
01-25-2011, 02:24 PM
Did anyone attempt to use the degenerate 'X' terrain setups? If so, did the changes make a big difference?

The biggest change is that it provided the chance for a Terrain-dependent attacker some terrain towards the center of the board in which to operate.
The playtesting is still young though...more to come at RECON events in April.

Rich Gause
01-25-2011, 03:42 PM
Did anyone attempt to use the degenerate 'X' terrain setups? If so, did the changes make a big difference?

Also, how did it affect situations where people used the maximum amount of terrain? It doesn't seem like it would affect things all that much, but would be encouraged if it did.

I used 4 big pieces in one game and my opponenet was able to move 2 of them further out so it has some effect.

Stephen Webb
01-25-2011, 09:11 PM
I will also try these out in my next games at the club and with Ian.

Foge
01-26-2011, 10:00 AM
It sounds like the system helps out bad going armies, but it doesn't do all that much for good going armies. Maybe rework step three along the lines of:

3a) If the table has no Bad Going(BGo) within 600p of the center of the battlefield, the attacker rolls d6 once more and on a 1-2 he may move the smallest piece of BGo as he wishes so that it is within 600p of the center of the battlefield, or place a new piece of BGo no more than 2BWx2BW in size within 600p of the center of the battlefield. The terrain must be legal by the rules after the move or addition.

3b) If there are four or more pieces of Bad Going (BGo) terrain, the attacker rolls a d6 once more and on a 1-2 can choose to remove one of these pieces. The terrain must be legal by the rules after the piece is removed.

This at least gives a GGo attacker a similar chance of influencing terrain as a BGo attacker. Also, the attacker can only remove terrain if there is already an abundance of it, so he won't be able to remove a "key" piece of terrain.

Thoughts?

Rich Gause
01-26-2011, 12:12 PM
It sounds like the system helps out bad going armies, but it doesn't do all that much for good going armies. Maybe rework step three along the lines of:

3a) If the table has no Bad Going(BGo) within 600p of the center of the battlefield, the attacker rolls d6 once more and on a 1-2 he may move the smallest piece of BGo as he wishes so that it is within 600p of the center of the battlefield, or place a new piece of BGo no more than 2BWx2BW in size within 600p of the center of the battlefield. The terrain must be legal by the rules after the move or addition.

3b) If there are four or more pieces of Bad Going (BGo) terrain, the attacker rolls a d6 once more and on a 1-2 can choose to remove one of these pieces. The terrain must be legal by the rules after the piece is removed.

This at least gives a GGo attacker a similar chance of influencing terrain as a BGo attacker. Also, the attacker can only remove terrain if there is already an abundance of it, so he won't be able to remove a "key" piece of terrain.

Thoughts?

I certainly understand your concern, and in fact proposed something similiar. I am not so sure it wouldn't just turn into don't put out more than 3 pieces of bad going................ Maybe if there is more than 1 piece of bad going within 600 paces of the center the attacker should get to move one anywhere he wants on a 1-2. The rule as is is certainly an improvement over the current RAW.

david kuijt
01-26-2011, 12:17 PM
It sounds like
[....]
Thoughts?

I'd suggest playtesting the system as it is first. Perhaps your suggestion is based upon symmetry (take a piece away being the reverse of add a piece) but when you look at it, that symmetry is an illusion.

I think the "help" factor for GGo armies and BGo armies is similar right now; your suggestion (full removal of a piece) is a much larger blow against the enemy than perhaps you realize. Adding a small piece of BGo near the center isn't much of an improvement for a BGo army on a pool table -- it helps, but 99% of the board is still pool table. Taking away a huge piece of BGo from a dense map is a MUCH bigger change.

Rich Gause
01-26-2011, 12:36 PM
I'd suggest playtesting the system as it is first. Perhaps your suggestion is based upon symmetry (take a piece away being the reverse of add a piece) but when you look at it, that symmetry is an illusion.

I think the "help" factor for GGo armies and BGo armies is similar right now; your suggestion (full removal of a piece) is a much larger blow against the enemy than perhaps you realize. Adding a small piece of BGo near the center isn't much of an improvement for a BGo army on a pool table -- it helps, but 99% of the board is still pool table. Taking away a huge piece of BGo from a dense map is a MUCH bigger change.

Yep getting one small piece near the center is probably pretty similiar in effect to getting to move 1-2 of 4 pieces of bad going a base width. And I agree test the current rule first before looking at other changes even the idea I just suggested earlier in the thread.

David Brown
01-26-2011, 06:30 PM
Hi there,

The system suggested here looks good for DBA, for BBDBA maybe a cut down version of the DBMM terrain rules which are _roughly_.

No dicing for table side, you sit on a table long end and start building terrain, the invader has first go and can choose about 1/4 to 1/3 of the terrain, the defender the rest (all from the defender's set).

Terrain is positioned according to a sequence (warerways go first etc,), dice are thrown to guide where each peice may be positioned by the player chosing it, so it might have to be something like '.. within 2BW of the left flank... or ....not closer than 3 of any other feature..."

It seems to build interesting battlefields and give both players a say in generating it, it's pretty quick to generate as you chose all your peices before dicing so no time lost agonising over what you might do next in the process.

regards

David B

john meunier
01-27-2011, 09:03 AM
Is the idea of making it easier to get bad going in the center of the board a competitiveness issue?

I struggle to see it as a historical one.

Tony Aguilar
01-27-2011, 09:44 AM
Is the idea of making it easier to get bad going in the center of the board a competitiveness issue?

I struggle to see it as a historical one.


Yep, that's it.

pozanias
01-27-2011, 11:33 AM
It sounds like the system helps out bad going armies, but it doesn't do all that much for good going armies. Maybe rework step three along the lines of:



I would think that DK's proposed rule would definitely help mobile armies that are often invaders (e.g. Mongols).

But I also think the point isn't primarily to "help" one army type or another, but rather to eliminate some of the less pleasant aspects of the current terrain placement system (overly clogged, pool-table, too precise/calculated, etc). A by-product of the changes is that terrain dependent armies (bad going or mounted) that invade will be given a bit of a boost. In my opinion, this is a very good thing.

The flip side is that it may negatively affect terrain dependent defenders. But I believe the negative effect will be minimal.

Your suggestions would do the same, but perhaps a bit too dramatically. I agree with the idea that these types of ideas should be playtested to see what the real impact on games will be.

david kuijt
01-27-2011, 12:23 PM
But I also think the point isn't primarily to "help" one army type or another, but rather to eliminate some of the less pleasant aspects of the current terrain placement system (overly clogged, pool-table, too precise/calculated, etc).

That's it, exactly.

A by-product of the changes is that terrain dependent armies (bad going or mounted) that invade will be given a bit of a boost. In my opinion, this is a very good thing.

The flip side is that it may negatively affect terrain dependent defenders. But I believe the negative effect will be minimal.


That's my thought as well.

john meunier
01-27-2011, 12:40 PM
Here is the rule we playtested:

2) Attacker rolls 1d6 for each area terrain piece.

Was any thought given to allowing roads and rivers to be shifted or moved by the same process?


3) If the table has no Bad Going(BGo) within 600p of the center of the battlefield, the attacker rolls d6 once more and on a 1-2 he may move the smallest piece of BGo as he wishes so that it is within 600p of the center of the battlefield, or place a new piece of BGo no more than 2BWx2BW in size within 600p of the center of the battlefield. The terrain must be legal by the rules after the move or addition.


The legal requirements for terrain include number of pieces, correct?

For instance, a Steppe defender deploys two Rough patches. The attacker cannot then place a "new" Rough patch but can only move an existing one, yes?

Also, just for clarification, what if a river runs within 600 paces of the center? A river is not "bad going." If one is placed can the attacker also invoke rule 3 above?

Rich Gause
01-27-2011, 12:49 PM
Was any thought given to allowing roads and rivers to be shifted or moved by the same process?



The legal requirements for terrain include number of pieces, correct?

For instance, a Steppe defender deploys two Rough patches. The attacker cannot then place a "new" Rough patch but can only move an existing one, yes?

Also, just for clarification, what if a river runs within 600 paces of the center? A river is not "bad going." If one is placed can the attacker also invoke rule 3 above?

Yes, yes, yes, yes.

david kuijt
01-27-2011, 01:02 PM
Was any thought given to allowing roads and rivers to be shifted or moved by the same process?


Thought by me? Sure. Took all of five seconds to discard that idea. The concept is simplicity. Moving or rotating an area piece is very simple. You cannot modify its shape. Roads and rivers are very different -- although I understand that some (unimaginative) players use straight roads aligned orthogonally, most aren't -- they wind around features, they aren't parallel to the side edges, and so on. Even more so for rivers.

So how would you legislate the limitations on modification of those shapes? Without creating something peculiar?

And what advantage would be gained by it? The idea is not to introduce change for its own sake. The driving motivation is to reduce symmetric/perfection terrain. Perfection terrain doesn't use roads, any time I've seen it -- and if it did, what modification of the road to de-perfect it would be appropriate?

john meunier
01-27-2011, 02:01 PM
The question was actually a question on my part and not a cleverly concealed attempt to make a point or advance a position.

I wanted to know the thinking.

Now, I do. Thanks.

david kuijt
01-27-2011, 02:25 PM
The question was actually a question on my part and not a cleverly concealed attempt to make a point or advance a position.

I wanted to know the thinking.

Now, I do. Thanks.

No offense taken -- almost all the thoughts described below zipped through my fervid brain so quickly that they merely left a gestalt of "no linear features" at the time. I responded below with a series of rhetorical questions as a way to recreate the gestalt-creating-zip, not as a response to a perceived attack.

Pavane
01-29-2011, 01:40 PM
Here is the rule we playtested:

1) Defender positions all terrain as current DBA rules.

2) Attacker rolls 1d6 for each area terrain piece. On a 1-2 he may shift that piece up to 1 Base Width(BW) in any direction, or rotate it up to 45 degrees. Move that piece before making further rolls. The terrain must be legal by the rules after the move.

3) If the table has no Bad Going(BGo) within 600p of the center of the battlefield, the attacker rolls d6 once more and on a 1-2 he may move the smallest piece of BGo as he wishes so that it is within 600p of the center of the battlefield, or place a new piece of BGo no more than 2BWx2BW in size within 600p of the center of the battlefield. The terrain must be legal by the rules after the move or addition.

4) After all adjustments, roll for board edge as normal.

I notice that in your version of DK's original proposal that you dropped "If the Attacker chooses to place such a piece, the Defender has the same chance to move it..." from Step 3. This seems reasonable and I wonder why you left this out.

colinrice
01-29-2011, 02:21 PM
This sounds like another piece of chrome to get over the advantage given to mounted armies by the "more playable" 30 inch boards. Witness the comment that maybe we will see more bad going armies in tournaments.

To paraphrase Dave K., once you start tinkering with the rules then the more you are likely to continue tinkering with the rules. The two 30 by 24 inch boards that BBDBA is now played on by the 30 inch board crowd is a tinker to minimze the impact of going to 30 inch boards rather than staying with the rule that BBDBA is played by adding two standard boards together.

I am unclear as to the purpose of this proposed adjustment. It is chrome to throw a randomized balancing bone to bad going armies. It is complex. It is meant to be applied to 30 inch boards. It needs adjustment for BBDBA.

This proposal needs more thought, in particular about what it is intended to accomplish. If the intent is to come up with a more random terrain generation method then I would prefer some other approach.

The best thing about this discussion is the suggestion to move to two 30 inch boards for BBDBA.

Tony Aguilar
01-29-2011, 02:48 PM
This proposal needs more thought, in particular about what it is intended to accomplish. If the intent is to come up with a more random terrain generation method then I would prefer some other approach.

The best thing about this discussion is the suggestion to move to two 30 inch boards for BBDBA.

After how many times of playing the with the Alternate Terrain Setup did you come to this conclusion?

john meunier
01-29-2011, 02:58 PM
I am unclear as to the purpose of this proposed adjustment.

As an earlier comment summarized it: "But I also think the point isn't primarily to "help" one army type or another, but rather to eliminate some of the less pleasant aspects of the current terrain placement system (overly clogged, pool-table, too precise/calculated, etc)."

john meunier
01-29-2011, 03:00 PM
Some have stated that these modifications would have to be changed for BBDBA.

I'm curious why people think that.

pozanias
01-29-2011, 03:43 PM
To paraphrase Dave K., once you start tinkering with the rules then the more you are likely to continue tinkering with the rules.

I think this is being proposed as part of the discussions surrounding DBA 3.0. It is being adopted by some as a house rule for playtesting purposes. If it garners broad support, its the kind of rule that might make it into 3.0.

Rich Gause
01-29-2011, 09:30 PM
I notice that in your version of DK's original proposal that you dropped "If the Attacker chooses to place such a piece, the Defender has the same chance to move it..." from Step 3. This seems reasonable and I wonder why you left this out.

Left it out accidentally. That should still be in there. We will play it that way next time.

Rich Gause
01-29-2011, 09:38 PM
This sounds like another piece of chrome to get over the advantage given to mounted armies by the "more playable" 30 inch boards. Witness the comment that maybe we will see more bad going armies in tournaments.

To paraphrase Dave K., once you start tinkering with the rules then the more you are likely to continue tinkering with the rules. The two 30 by 24 inch boards that BBDBA is now played on by the 30 inch board crowd is a tinker to minimze the impact of going to 30 inch boards rather than staying with the rule that BBDBA is played by adding two standard boards together.

I am unclear as to the purpose of this proposed adjustment. It is chrome to throw a randomized balancing bone to bad going armies. It is complex. It is meant to be applied to 30 inch boards. It needs adjustment for BBDBA.

This proposal needs more thought, in particular about what it is intended to accomplish. If the intent is to come up with a more random terrain generation method then I would prefer some other approach.

The best thing about this discussion is the suggestion to move to two 30 inch boards for BBDBA.

I disagree that it is complex it is pretty simple and usually takes less than a minute.

We playtested it in 30 games of DBA and it is superior to the current rules for the purposes of mitigating cheesy terrain, whether it is symetrical, pool table or overly clogged cheesy. It would be interesting to hear if you have a better proposal and, if it is better, we might be playing it in almost every Florida DBA event if it does test out as better.

Pavane
01-29-2011, 11:58 PM
Some have stated that these modifications would have to be changed for BBDBA.

I'm curious why people think that.
If the central BGo step is retained after playtesting, then BBDBA maps should have two centre points since the map is twice as wide. Everything else could remain the same, IMHO.

john meunier
01-30-2011, 12:18 AM
If the central BGo step is retained after playtesting, then BBDBA maps should have two centre points since the map is twice as wide. Everything else could remain the same, IMHO.

Okay. See, I read the center as the center. A BBDBA board has only one center point - even if it is constructed by putting two standard boards together.

To me, at least, you could play this variant without changes in BBDBA.

colinrice
01-30-2011, 08:59 PM
As an earlier comment summarized it: "But I also think the point isn't primarily to "help" one army type or another, but rather to eliminate some of the less pleasant aspects of the current terrain placement system (overly clogged, pool-table, too precise/calculated, etc)."

The billiard table, tight X, small board, large board and overly clogged terrain all have their historical equivalents. Some player view these as cheesie or unfair. Instead we should see these situations as challenges to our playing skills or as a learning experience.

Some of the most interesting games I have played have been in exactly these situations. Sometimes I got slaughtered, and sometimes I came out on top. But they were interesting.

david kuijt
01-30-2011, 09:33 PM
The billiard table, tight X, small board, large board and overly clogged terrain all have their historical equivalents. Some player view these as cheesie or unfair. Instead we should see these situations as challenges to our playing skills or as a learning experience.

Sure.

So what you're saying is that nothing is stupid, and everything is a learning experience? Playing on an 18" board isn't stupid? Playing on a 12" board isn't stupid? What about 9"? What about 72"? 108"? Actually, I'm not sure what your point is, Colin -- if you tell me all terrain is the same, and all board sizes are the same, they aren't, and your assertion don't make it so.

I can beat players who use mathematically precise terrain, on their own terrain, more often than not. That isn't the point.

As for challenges to my playing skills -- playing on terrain I haven't seen before is a challenge to my playing skills. If someone wants to challenge my playing skills, they should most definitely NOT use stupid perfect-geometry terrain -- I've seen that before.

The world has infinite variety. Moron terrain does not.

And actually, I contest your assertion that mathematically precise X formation terrain has its historical equivalent. Name a couple of battles that had mathematically precise X-formation terrain, if you would.

Rich Gause
01-30-2011, 09:36 PM
The billiard table, tight X, small board, large board and overly clogged terrain all have their historical equivalents. Some player view these as cheesie or unfair. Instead we should see these situations as challenges to our playing skills or as a learning experience.

Some of the most interesting games I have played have been in exactly these situations. Sometimes I got slaughtered, and sometimes I came out on top. But they were interesting.

So you are saying you think the current terrain rules are as good as they can be? If not how could they be better?

David Schlanger
01-30-2011, 09:38 PM
Okay. See, I read the center as the center. A BBDBA board has only one center point - even if it is constructed by putting two standard boards together.

To me, at least, you could play this variant without changes in BBDBA.

Play test it both ways, then see if it really matters much, or which way is better. The most appealing thing is that precision terrain will be subject to some minor variations and modifications. Gaps between terrain pieces carefully measured may suddenly shrink or expand, just a bit. This is extra appealing on a big battle board that is not being rotated as in regular DBA.

DS

Pavane
01-31-2011, 10:14 AM
I forgot to mention another reason why I like DK's terrain proposal. I've always disliked the fact that a low agggression army has a chance of fighting an entire tournament on exactly the same battlefield each encounter. This virtually eliminates that possibility.

Martyn
01-31-2011, 10:48 AM
I forgot to mention another reason why I like DK's terrain proposal. I've always disliked the fact that a low agggression army has a chance of fighting an entire tournament on exactly the same battlefield each encounter. This virtually eliminates that possibility.

I donít see that as a problem, just an indictment of the player. ;)

After all for each of their opponents it will be a new terrain set up. There isnít even much advantage as the strength or weakness of any terrain is partly dependant on the opposition. You would not necessarily want the same terrain against a Bd heavy army as against a Wb/Bw/Kn etc army.

Bob Santamaria
02-01-2011, 11:08 PM
I like the proposal a lot. Preparing for IWF tournament at the moment, but will give it a try in friendlies after that.

Adrian

Rich Gause
02-01-2011, 11:18 PM
I would be interested in hearing others experiences with playtesting the rule. I edited the opening post to this thread to include the defender having a chance to move the piece of terrain if the attacker places one.

colinrice
02-08-2011, 11:51 PM
I think this is being proposed as part of the discussions surrounding DBA 3.0. It is being adopted by some as a house rule for playtesting purposes. If it garners broad support, its the kind of rule that might make it into 3.0.

Fair enough. Thanks for the clarification.

colinrice
02-09-2011, 12:51 AM
So what you're saying is that nothing is stupid, and everything is a learning experience? Playing on an 18" board isn't stupid? Playing on a 12" board isn't stupid? What about 9"? What about 72"? 108"? Actually, I'm not sure what your point is, Colin -- if you tell me all terrain is the same, and all board sizes are the same, they aren't, and your assertion don't make it so.

I can beat players who use mathematically precise terrain, on their own terrain, more often than not. That isn't the point.

As for challenges to my playing skills -- playing on terrain I haven't seen before is a challenge to my playing skills. If someone wants to challenge my playing skills, they should most definitely NOT use stupid perfect-geometry terrain -- I've seen that before.

The world has infinite variety. Moron terrain does not.

And actually, I contest your assertion that mathematically precise X formation terrain has its historical equivalent. Name a couple of battles that had mathematically precise X-formation terrain, if you would.

I will try to ignore the sarcasm and try to explain where I am coming from without sounding preachy.

There are small battlefields and long narrow ones. The defile at Agincourt was about 1000 yards wide. The ambush at Lake Trasimene was a long and narrow field of battle. The Persian Gates was very similar to an X shaped set of defiles. I am sure there are other campaigns that could have similar constraints. Cortez' siege of Tenochtitlan was conducted over the causeways into the city and was fought on a very narrow frontage.

My point was that I am open to other terrain deployments and do not immediately dismiss them as cheese. I may not like them, but to me it is part of the game. And because I am not as expert a player as you Dave, I do view them as a challenge.

As for the rule proposal, it just felt a little off when I first read it and I had to think about why I felt that way. So it took me a while to get around to responding So here goes.

For tournament play, especially opens, as part of their game strategy, players should think about the types of opponents they are likely to face and the types of terrain they are likely to deploy and select an army that you think you will do well with. Even though the defender gets to place the terrain, the attacker getting a 50% opportunity to select the side the defender is placed on is a stong advantage, but not a certain one. To me, complaining about "cheesie" terrain layouts is a bit beside the point. Can I use it to my advantage is the question to me.

Also the rule does not prevent certain terrain usage, it mitigates the usage so hokey layouts are still likely to happen, including billiard tables, central spines and clogged terrain. They will be shifted around a bit.

The objection relating to low aggression armies in tournaments has merit and this rule partially addresses that issue, but I suspect there are other more creative resolutions to that one.

I am open to some change in the terrain rules but I would like it to generate more variable and random terrain placements. Perhaps the defender selects terrain up to the maximum. The attacker then selects additional terrain pieces up to the maximum limits if the total terrain is not at the maximum. Terrain is then placed randomly. The defender roles for the base side of the board. Maybe each player roles to see if they are allowed to adjust a terrain piece.

winterbadger
02-09-2011, 01:13 AM
See, the one thing I never understand is the call for more randomness in terrain. It doesn't seem to me that the random appearance of terrain that neither party anticipated is a very frequent feature of historical accounts. Certainly not a dominant theme.

But I suppose that's exactly the point at issue. I'm interested in historical battles, much more so than the competitive aspects of tournament play. Whereas a lot of players are far less interested in history than they are in how rules affect competitions. Horses for courses, I suppose.

Rich Gause
02-09-2011, 01:37 AM
See, the one thing I never understand is the call for more randomness in terrain. It doesn't seem to me that the random appearance of terrain that neither party anticipated is a very frequent feature of historical accounts. Certainly not a dominant theme.

But I suppose that's exactly the point at issue. I'm interested in historical battles, much more so than the competitive aspects of tournament play. Whereas a lot of players are far less interested in history than they are in how rules affect competitions. Horses for courses, I suppose.

I like historical battles too, but the terrain system for that is to just put out the terrain as per the historical battlefield.

winterbadger
02-09-2011, 02:06 AM
I like historical battles too, but the terrain system for that is to just put out the terrain as per the historical battlefield.

If you're playing a specific one, yes. But if you're say, oh, I don't know, playing a Second Punic War campaign ;) you'll have battles that are historical without being *specific* replays. I'd like a system for generating terrain for those battles that produces something that those two armies *might* have fought over. But I don't see any particular value in it being random.

JMO, YMMV.

Rich Gause
02-09-2011, 11:14 AM
It should be fairly easy to model a specific campaign or war with special rules for aggression and terrain placement. The terrrain adjustment rule is really good for competitive tournament battles, if that isn't what you are into something else might be better.

winterbadger
02-09-2011, 12:10 PM
It should be fairly easy to model a specific campaign or war with special rules for aggression and terrain placement. The terrrain adjustment rule is really good for competitive tournament battles, if that isn't what you are into something else might be better.

I guess i just don't get why tournament play is judged to be the default that needs to be the guiding case and historical play is considered the oddity/special case in a set of *historical* miniatures rules. But I seem to be alone in thinking that.

Rich Gause
02-09-2011, 12:38 PM
For tournament play, especially opens, as part of their game strategy, players should think about the types of opponents they are likely to face and the types of terrain they are likely to deploy and select an army that you think you will do well with. Even though the defender gets to place the terrain, the attacker getting a 50% opportunity to select the side the defender is placed on is a stong advantage, but not a certain one. To me, complaining about "cheesie" terrain layouts is a bit beside the point. Can I use it to my advantage is the question to me.

Also the rule does not prevent certain terrain usage, it mitigates the usage so hokey layouts are still likely to happen, including billiard tables, central spines and clogged terrain. They will be shifted around a bit.

I am open to some change in the terrain rules but I would like it to generate more variable and random terrain placements. Perhaps the defender selects terrain up to the maximum. The attacker then selects additional terrain pieces up to the maximum limits if the total terrain is not at the maximum. Terrain is then placed randomly. The defender roles for the base side of the board. Maybe each player roles to see if they are allowed to adjust a terrain piece.

The problem with the current rules is that when a terrain adverse army fights a terrain dependent army the aggression die roll becomes the paramount die roll of the game.

The rule does mitigate rather than prevent silly terrain use, the current set up rules work,they could work a little better, but any radical change like random setup etc... needs huge amounts of playtesting before deciding to scrap a system that mostly works. With the DK rule you can almost clutter up the board, you can almost have a pool table. Having one BGo feature in a relevant position, or having 2-3 base widths between BGo rather than one can make a huge difference in the playability of the game, and while the defender does still get an advantage from setting up the terrain he has a harder time dictating exactly what it will be. That is what it is supposed to do.

I have played terrain rules with random placement or that allowed attackers to outright place, move, or remove terrain. They didn't work or make the game better. What they did do was give the attacker an overwhelming play balance advantage by denying the defender the ability to dictate(or mostly dictate for the DK rule) the terrain while the attacker retained his advantages of side picking, 2nd deployment, and first move. If you write a rule that addresses all those issues I will be happy to playtest it.

ferrency
02-09-2011, 12:41 PM
I guess i just don't get why tournament play is judged to be the default that needs to be the guiding case and historical play is considered the oddity/special case in a set of *historical* miniatures rules. But I seem to be alone in thinking that.

I'd say a solution for competitive play is emphasized because the original problem this house rule was designed to solve is a problem in competitive play. No one judged competitive play to be more important, they only identified a problem within a specific domain, and provided a solution that is appropriate within that domain.

Besides, it's only a house rule. If you have a problem with terrain placement in pseudo-historical campaigns, identify it and solve it with a house rule that it appropriate to pseudo-historical campaigns. That's not the problem this house rule was trying to solve.

Alan

winterbadger
02-09-2011, 12:45 PM
I'd say a solution for competitive play is emphasized because the original problem this house rule was designed to solve is a problem in competitive play.

Fair enough

Rich Gause
02-09-2011, 12:47 PM
I guess i just don't get why tournament play is judged to be the default that needs to be the guiding case and historical play is considered the oddity/special case in a set of *historical* miniatures rules. But I seem to be alone in thinking that.

If you are not playing a competitive tournament game, such as redoing an historical campaign then coming up with a set of house rules for battlefield generation should be fairly easy unless one of the parties involved is more interested in winning than recreating history at which point you could use something designed for competitive tournament gamers. DBA really shines as the best tournament game for conventions ever. Hands down, no competition from anything. A game an hour and easy portability of multiple armies give it unbeatable advantages to any other game out there for competitive tournament play at game conventions. It makes sense that the default set of terrain generation rules is designed for competitive tournament style play because a lot, maybe most even outside of conventions, of DBA is played that way and it is easy for people who are doing something else to do something else. It is not as easy to make a rule designed for non-competitive or historical play work in a tournament.

david kuijt
02-09-2011, 12:52 PM
I'd say a solution for competitive play is emphasized because the original problem this house rule was designed to solve is a problem in competitive play. No one judged competitive play to be more important, they only identified a problem within a specific domain, and provided a solution that is appropriate within that domain.


Exactomundly.

colinrice
02-09-2011, 07:46 PM
I guess i just don't get why tournament play is judged to be the default that needs to be the guiding case and historical play is considered the oddity/special case in a set of *historical* miniatures rules. But I seem to be alone in thinking that.

Actually not. A good friend and I have been playing our way through the army list with our armies with matchups and scenarios that you would not otherwise see.

I would commend this approach to the gang.

Paul A. Hannah
02-10-2011, 01:33 PM
I love the concepts and mechanics of this "Alternative Terrain Adjustment Rule". I'm eager to try it out.

It obviously serves the interests of an Early Libyan fan when he or she looks out on to a barren wasteland of a Waterway and two Roads, but it also seems reasonably fair to the player who laid that sparse terrain.

Forgive my asking what may have been asked & answered already: Is it possible this might be included in the proposed DBA 3.0? Or, is this just a smart house-rule that's worth using?

Tony Aguilar
02-10-2011, 02:23 PM
Forgive my asking what may have been asked & answered already: Is it possible this might be included in the proposed DBA 3.0? Or, is this just a smart house-rule that's worth using?

Most likely a house rule, Paul. That I am aware of, Phil has never engaged in any discussions here on Fanaticus, nor has he consulted the vast majority of the membership of DBA players. As a matter of fact, many Fanatici emailed him to provide feedback for playtesting (including some of the most active and experienced ones) and none have even received a response other than two or so people he has contacted who also play DBMM. He is free to do whatever he wants as they are his rules, however he shouldn't be surprised when his rules aren't well received.

Rich Gause
02-10-2011, 02:23 PM
I love the concepts and mechanics of this "Alternative Terrain Adjustment Rule". I'm eager to try it out.

It obviously serves the interests of an Early Libyan fan when he or she looks out on to a barren wasteland of a Waterway and two Roads, but it also seems reasonably fair to the player who laid that sparse terrain.

Forgive my asking what may have been asked & answered already: Is it possible this might be included in the proposed DBA 3.0? Or, is this just a smart house-rule that's worth using?

I suspect that when Phil, with an open mind and before he has already decided what DBA 3 is going to be, decides to solicit feedback and ideas from active members of the DBA community who are not also DBMM players that there is a chance for something like that. You probably have better odds of winning the lottery.:sick

david kuijt
02-10-2011, 02:35 PM
Forgive my asking what may have been asked & answered already: Is it possible this might be included in the proposed DBA 3.0? Or, is this just a smart house-rule that's worth using?

As Tony said, Phil is aggressively oblivious to this forum. He is also extremely restrictive in who can give input on 3.0; so far the only three people identified are Sue (his spouse) and two players on this forum with whom he was already familiar because of their DBMM connections (Doug Melville and Andreas Johannson). Many other DBA players (including me) have offered their playtest services without result.

It is possible that it might make it into 3.0, but the President of the USA might decide to visit my neighborhood and pin a medal on me tomorrow as well; you never know.

Doug
02-10-2011, 10:21 PM
I guess i just don't get why tournament play is judged to be the default that needs to be the guiding case and historical play is considered the oddity/special case in a set of *historical* miniatures rules. But I seem to be alone in thinking that.

I think Phil sees players playing 'historically' as being sufficiently gentlemanly not to need strict rules as per tournaments, therefore the rules are designed with a secondary design principle to produce relatively 'fair' battles. Gentlemen can sort out their own terrain and don't need guiding.

If you genuinely wanted to play historically, just take Polybian Roman, you can lose twenty times to the Carthaginians, raise another army each time, and you still win overall.

pozanias
02-11-2011, 10:56 AM
It is possible that it might make it into 3.0, but the President of the USA might decide to visit my neighborhood and pin a medal on me tomorrow as well; you never know.

It's hard to take you seriously when you make ridiculous comments like this. It's not even close. You are waaaaaay more likely to receive a visit from the President. :)

This reminds me of a scene from the classic movie Dumb & Dumber. The Jim Carey character is trying to find out the liklihood a certain pretty girl will go on a date with him. She replies that its 1-in-a-million. His eyes brighten up, a huge smile comes across his face, and he says "so your telling me I have a chance!"

So, I'm not sure if I'm overly optimistic or or just dumb -- but I think that if this rule gets play-tested enough and is well-received that there is a decent chance (10-15%???) that it could find its way into DBA 3.0. It's hard to predict what ideas will make their way to Phil and then, of those, which will have an impact. His thought process is hard to discern, but I have seen issues raised by the DBA community be addressed in each version since 1.0.

Tony Aguilar
02-11-2011, 11:11 AM
This reminds me of a scene from the classic movie Dumb & Dumber.

Speaking of which, here is another great one at the very end of the movie:

Lloyd: [a large bus full of gorgeous women in bikinis pull up beside them and three step out]
Bikini Girl: Hi guys. We're going on a national bikini tour, and we're looking for two oil boys who can grease us off before each competition.
Harry: You are in luck! There's a town about three miles that way. I'm sure you'll find a couple guys there.
Bikini Girl: [baffled] Okay, thanks.
[the doors close and the bus drives off. After a second, Lloyd turns to Harry]
Lloyd: Do you realize what you've done?
[they run after the bus]
Lloyd: HEY! HEY!
Harry: Lloyd! Lloyd!
[the bus stops and opens the doors]
Lloyd: [panting] You'll have to excuse my friend. He's a little slow. The town is back *that* way.

Tony Aguilar
03-22-2011, 12:27 PM
Did anyone end up using this rule at Cold Wars?

winterbadger
03-22-2011, 12:30 PM
Did anyone end up using this rule at Cold Wars?

Totally forgot. I would have done, if I'd remembered (and if my opponents had consented, of course).

kontos
03-22-2011, 12:41 PM
Nobody did, Tony. I forgot as well and the 2David's never brought it up for their camapign either. :o

david kuijt
03-22-2011, 02:17 PM
Nobody did, Tony. I forgot as well and the 2David's never brought it up for their camapign either. :o

Didn't think about it, for the campaign. Too many other things to think about -- as it is, I forgot to order food through the Larry Service, and only through the kindness of others (Larry and the Butcher) did I get anything to eat at all.

As for its use in the campaign theme, I'm not sure it is necessary. Nobody used geometric/symmetric terrain. The social aspect of the campaign theme motif is strong enough that nobody is trying for a desperate all-out victory without regard for looking like a douche.

kontos
03-22-2011, 02:40 PM
Didn't think about it, for the campaign. Too many other things to think about -- as it is, I forgot to order food through the Larry Service, and only through the kindness of others (Larry and the Butcher) did I get anything to eat at all.

As for its use in the campaign theme, I'm not sure it is necessary. Nobody used geometric/symmetric terrain. The social aspect of the campaign theme motif is strong enough that nobody is trying for a desperate all-out victory without regard for looking like a douche.

You're right, DK, there wasn't a need but it was a good casual venue to playtest your rules. Sorry about the food. You did look like you lost some weight.
...and your voice.
...and your mind.
:D

Rich Gause
03-22-2011, 03:07 PM
Didn't think about it, for the campaign. Too many other things to think about -- as it is, I forgot to order food through the Larry Service, and only through the kindness of others (Larry and the Butcher) did I get anything to eat at all.

As for its use in the campaign theme, I'm not sure it is necessary. Nobody used geometric/symmetric terrain. The social aspect of the campaign theme motif is strong enough that nobody is trying for a desperate all-out victory without regard for looking like a douche.

The rule is so simple and takes so little time to execute that I will be a proponent of making it the standard way to set up whether it is needed or not. It really is superior to the current rules and actually does take less than a minute unless there are dithering issues.

david kuijt
03-22-2011, 05:11 PM
You're right, DK, there wasn't a need but it was a good casual venue to playtest your rules. Sorry about the food. You did look like you lost some weight.
...and your voice.
...and your mind.
:D

Yup, it would have been a fine idea.

Losing my voice happens every time. Too much herding high-volume cats.

Losing my mind has more to do with the 3.0 playtest than anything related to Cold Wars.

BigMadAl
03-24-2011, 07:04 PM
It seems like a nice, elegant alternative for terrain generation. I think I'll run it past my small group & see what they think.

broadsword
03-24-2011, 07:24 PM
BigMadAl, it certainly is a very nice rule, and we've noticed it prevents all kinds of terrain weirdness.

On the other hand, it still doesn't help early Anatolian, say, with mostly Ps and Ax and an Ag rating of 3. Against any enemy who rides, or gets towed, by horses, they get massacred on a board largely devoid of any bad going.

The Light Troops variant rule says: after terrain placement, both sides roll one die, adding one for each Ps and Ax element in their army. The high scorer may add one area feature to the board. If the winner's score is double the opponent's, he may add up to two area features. All such additions must result in a legal board, of course.

Now with a Ps/Ax army, you have an excellent chance of being able to add up to two more pieces of bad going. Suddenly early Anatolian have a chance at life again! Of course, if they are fighting Ps/Ax armies also, then the terrain is equaled out anyway, but as many are eager to point out, if it weren't for non-historical matchups occurring in tournaments, we'd only see Romans, Carthaginians and Gauls most of the time.

I think the answer to the terrain deployment issue is to divorce aggression ratings from who actually sets up the battlefield, and have that be more egalitarian, somehow. You basically want LH armies to have a fair chance at lots of good going, and Ps/Ax armies to have a fair chance of fighting in bad going.

BigMadAl
03-25-2011, 12:09 PM
On the other hand, it still doesn't help early Anatolian, say, with mostly Ps and Ax and an Ag rating of 3. Against any enemy who rides, or gets towed, by horses, they get massacred on a board largely devoid of any bad going.

I can't help thinking that having options for more than one terrain generation system would be a big help. I like the 2.2 method, & I like Mr Kujit's suggested alternative, but as you say they don't cover all the bases.

I'm not sure I really like the "light troops" variant you suggest, but some tournament organizer might like it a lot. If the alternative is provided by the rules, it seems to me more people would be satisfied than otherwise, & then more people would be happy with DBA3. More happy gamers = more potential opponents for me, & that makes me an even happier gamer.

david kuijt
03-25-2011, 12:32 PM
I think the answer to the terrain deployment issue is to divorce aggression ratings from who actually sets up the battlefield, and have that be more egalitarian, somehow. You basically want LH armies to have a fair chance at lots of good going, and Ps/Ax armies to have a fair chance of fighting in bad going.

Cav and Kn armies are at least as damaged by lots of bad going as LH are. WWg are even worse -- they can't even move into it.

Warband armies are at least as crippled by no BGo as Auxilia are.

Blade want BGo if facing Knights, but want GGo if facing Wb. Pike want some BGo, but not too much. Bow want BGo sometimes, but only certain types of it (steep hills preferred, no Woods except against nothing but mounted).

So what you're saying is that the odds should be even, except if your army has a lot of LH, Cv, Kn, Wb, Aux, Ps, WWg. And sometimes Blade, Pike, or Bow.

That will certainly screw the armies with ... 12x SCh.

winterbadger
03-25-2011, 12:39 PM
I think the answer to the terrain deployment issue is to divorce aggression ratings from who actually sets up the battlefield, and have that be more egalitarian, somehow. You basically want LH armies to have a fair chance at lots of good going, and Ps/Ax armies to have a fair chance of fighting in bad going.

Who defines "a fair chance"? And since when was the objective of a historical game to give every army an equal chance of winning under all conditions? Are we going to be giving out "everyone is a winner" badges next?

The whole *point* of aggression ratings is to determine who gets to set up the terrain and what sort of terrain it is. One of the things about 1.0 that definitely seemed broken to me was that all armies fought over the same terrain, effectively, no matter what their historical circumstances were.

The current system tries to match up armies with their native terrain and to see that armies who fought outside their native terrain regularly are more often the attacker than the defender and vice versa. If armies filled with light foot troops have a high aggression, well, yes, they will be fighting on the defender's terrain more often than on their own choice. If that turns out to be billiard-table conditions, well, bad on them for attacking out into the steppe. Likewise, if a LH army with high aggression ends up fighting in the woods, perhaps the Mongols shouldn't have attacked the Poles.

Players choose armies with their eyes open. If you want a light foot army that has terrain it likes (most of the time), pick Kappadokians (Hilly, Ag 0, 5 Ax, 2 Ps), not early Andalusians (Arable, Ag 3, 8 Ps). If you want a horse army that gets a billiard table to fight on, take the Alans (Steppe or Arable, Ag 1, potentially all Kn and LH) but be aware if you pick the Sassanid Persians (mostly Cav or other mounted) that with an Ag 3 you may spend a lot of games watching your opponent setting up a lot of BG (and their historical opponents include a lot of armies from Hilly or Dry terrain that can potentially put out 4-5 pieces of BG).

As some people are fond of saying, if you take the early Libyans (Ag 4, almost entirely Ax and Ps), everyone knows you need a wheelbarrow. But that's the point. Giving the Libyans the opportunity to place lots of terrain they like makes them, well, not Early Libyans any more.

Rich Gause
03-25-2011, 01:46 PM
The change I would like to see with aggression ratings for who sets up the battlefield would be to give an army with higher aggression a +1 instead of + the difference between aggression ratings. As an alternate you could also use the same roll with the difference between agression ratings to determine the terrain type for the battlefield with a tie allowing the defender to choose which type. That way you could have an invader be the defender for the battle using the other army's terrain type which should be possible but is not under current rules.

winterbadger
03-25-2011, 02:37 PM
As an alternate you could also use the same roll with the difference between aggression ratings to determine the terrain type for the battlefield with a tie allowing the defender to choose which type. That way you could have an invader be the defender for the battle using the other army's terrain type which should be possible but is not under current rules.

That's an interesting idea!

FWIW, when running a campaign, I treat all the areas controlled at start by a player to be that army's terrain type, no matter who is later fighting a battle there. Of course, that doesn't help for one-off battles.

broadsword
03-25-2011, 08:18 PM
David, Winterbadger, my point was simply to have someone who chose an army like early Anatolian or Early Libyan (or 12 X Sch!) at least some of the time get to fight on terrain they like. If that offends your sense of aesthetics, fair enough. (By the way, one potential drawback to David's adjustment rule is it makes those with fixed 1'X1' terrain panels have a rougher time of it? Just wondering myself how to "tool up" the variant to fit with that system.)

FWIW David, I recall you making the point that terrain is after all an abstraction anyway, so why not have more of the Army listings actually being tournament competitive?

Rough in Libya, and rough in Turkey are perhaps relative terms, after all. In my opinion the aggression rating does a fine job of picking a terrain backdrop, but is downright obscuring (and perhaps a bit fantastical) when it comes to at least even remotely reflecting which general more often than not got to choose the battlefield.

Perhaps a 12 X SCh army vs a 5 X Ax, 7 X Ps army could have neither side guaranteed of the perfect battlefield. The current system says if your Light army (or your Knight army) Nation was very aggressive (4), you're basically screwed if you ever attack any of your less adventurous neighbours. (which brings up the question in my mind about just how those aggressive nations succeeded in being so aggressive...)

I would prefer that it meant you're screwed some of the time, and that is bascially more than just a function of your nation's geopolitical disposition.

winterbadger
03-25-2011, 09:18 PM
David, Winterbadger, my point was simply to have someone who chose an army like early Anatolian or Early Libyan (or 12 X Sch!) at least some of the time get to fight on terrain they like.

Different aggression ratings can produce different results. Almost no matchups are a foregone conclusion. I've won terrain with an Ag 3 army against a player with an Ag 0 army. So at least some of the time an army will get terrain. Your previous post, saying that terrain decision should be "egalitarian", seemed to be suggesting that that "some" should be something close to half. Why? What would the justification for that be? Some armies fought a lot of their battles on other peoples' terrain. That's history--there's really no arguing with it.

Again, no one is holding a gun to anyone's head and forcing them to play a high Aggression army that depends on winning terrain. That's a choice the player makes when he picks which armies to build.

(By the way, one potential drawback to David's adjustment rule is it makes those with fixed 1'X1' terrain panels have a rougher time of it? Just wondering myself how to "tool up" the variant to fit with that system.)

I'm not sure what 1x1 squares you refer to. If you're talking about entire 1x1 blocks of pre-set terrain, I for one have never seen such things.

The current system says if your Light army (or your Knight army) Nation was very aggressive (4), you're basically screwed if you ever attack any of your less adventurous neighbours.

That's a ridiculously overbroad generalisation. The outcome depends entirely on who you attack, what their terrain is, and what their army is like...plus what happens when you roll the dice. Even with Ag 4 to Ag 0, the more aggressive army can sometimes win terrain.

I would prefer that it meant you're screwed some of the time, and that is bascially more than just a function of your nation's geopolitical disposition.

You seem to be looking for a game where everything is even, all armies can beat all other armies on any given day, and everything is down to the comparative skill of the two players with no chance or variation based on army makeups. Might I suggest you take up chess? I understand that's been perfectly optimised for tournament play...

david kuijt
03-25-2011, 11:37 PM
FWIW David, I recall you making the point that terrain is after all an abstraction anyway, so why not have more of the Army listings actually being tournament competitive?


Terrain is an abstraction. So is the aggression rating. And the concept of truth. And honor, and money. If you feel all abstractions are equally bad, you are welcome to send me your money.

Tournament-competitive is not the only virtue. History is good too. The aggression ratings aren't perfect (the Mongols attacked all the time, true -- but they won terrain a lot too, and only the fact that they attacked all the time is reflected in their aggression rating). By and large, aggression ratings allow terrain-dependent armies to have realistic chances against historical opponents. There are counterexamples, of course -- but I own hundreds of armies, and I'm pretty sure that the bulk of historical matchups work fairly well within the context of historical aggression ratings. For every time you say "Mongols" I can say "Bosporans, Ancient Spanish, Granadines, ..."

Further, you are focusing on the two wierdest extremes -- all-BGo armies, and pool-table armies. So let's consider those army types. Suppose, for a moment, that you could achieve a miracle, and give those armies an even chance of winning terrain in any battle. Are you going to increase the number of people playing with those armies in open tournaments? No chance -- because that was the situation in v1.1. I assure you, nobody in v1.1 ever took Ancient Spanish with any belief they would finish higher than the 50% mark in a tournament. Before there were aggression ratings, there were a LOT fewer interesting armies taken in tournaments. So even with its problems, aggression ratings broadened the spectrum of armies taken -- which is another virtue.

And another point is this -- most armies are not the extremes you mention. Winning terrain isn't the be-all and end-all of winning battles, except for the two extremes (completely BGo dependent, and completely GGo dependent). And even for them, it is only an issue if they are facing an army which is built to take advantage of their dependency. Suppose you have Early Lybian (b). Yes, they are a true wheelbarrow army if they are facing Early Sarmatians, or Sassanid Persians, or Italian Ostrogoths. But against historical enemies they have a real chance, even on an open plain. Sure, they'd prefer to be defending in dunes and rough -- but I'd prefer to have a winning lottery ticket, and I don't seen anyone buying me one. Or look at Ancient British. Every historical enemy of Ancient British can fight them in GGo, or can fight them in BGo. Something like 3/4 of the armies in the army book are sufficiently combined-arms to make a fight of it in any terrain. And probably less than 10% are truly terrain dependent.

david kuijt
03-25-2011, 11:50 PM
Just as an additional point -- if you survey the winning armies in tournaments, you will find that aggression rating (and therefore the advantage of choosing terrain) is not very strongly correlated with success. I've won the NICT with LMI, Auntie Gonads, Medieval Portlies, and Serbian Empire -- 2, 1, 3, 1. DS and I have won Big Battle Doubles with every aggression possible, from Agg 4 (Big Al and the Classics, Teutonic Order with Germs) to Agg 0 (Tamil). Mostly we seem to end up at the high end (Agg 2 or 3); at Cold Wars we won with Yuan Chinese (14 Cav and LH) and Javanese Ally (wad of Warband).

broadsword
03-26-2011, 01:06 AM
Winterbadger, check these out:

http://www.umiacs.umd.edu/~kuijt/miscellania/Terrain.html

I made up a bunch of them for HotT a few years ago, and they worked great.

David, once again, good points, and I agree that many army matchups aren't problematic in any terrain. I just think DBA does so many things well, the current terrain set up system using Ag rating seems clunky, and not as well-presented.

I am trying to win skeptcis over to playing it with our group, and quite frankly the "High Ag number mostly loses terrain" is proving one of the tougher selling features.

Winterbadger, why shouldn't terrain be 50/50? I can't think of any philosophical reason it shouldn't. Perhaps LH and Ax/Ps armies can get some benefit, thus potentially eliminating the problem army matchup altogether, or severely limiting it.

It's one thing to say "problem army terrain matchups can't be fixed, or even improved". It's quite another to say they shouldn't be.

Matt
03-26-2011, 02:29 AM
Winterbadger, check these out:

http://www.umiacs.umd.edu/~kuijt/miscellania/Terrain.html



David,

Nice tutorial on the terrain squares. Do you still use these? Your alternate terrain rules suggest not, since you are allowed to move the terrain around a bit. What terrain system do you (or anyone out there that has used both) prefer?

david kuijt
03-26-2011, 06:34 AM
David,

Nice tutorial on the terrain squares. Do you still use these? Your alternate terrain rules suggest not, since you are allowed to move the terrain around a bit. What terrain system do you (or anyone out there that has used both) prefer?

Threw them away many years ago, actually. I tried to sell them, but nobody was interested. Too heavy as constructed, fairly awkward too. Much of the terrain on them (created for 1.1) was not legal in 2.0 anyway. Plus they were built for 24" boards, so didn't work for the 30" boards of which I have been a major proponent for seven or eight years.

For most games I use the same system now that the vast majority of people use -- individually placed pieces of terrain.

For some special games, usually historical recreations of battles associated with large special tournaments I run with DS, I make up specific and unique terrain boards with terrain appropriate for that tournament. We've done that for "The Rise and Fall of Rome," "Ruler of the Nile," "Baltic Crusades," and a few other things, running the tournament at a major convention (Historicon, Cold Wars, Fall In, and once I took the concept on the road and ran it at Enfilade in Seattle, with the help and support of Paul Hannah). For those maps I build the whole map with terrain and deployment marked on it, usually on a base of 1/8" MDF with glued-down foam hills, all covered with bathroom caulk, painted and flocked. Some pictures of the maps and scenarios are available here: http://www.wadbag.com/events/RiseFallRome/index.html and http://www.wadbag.com/events/BalticCrusades05/index.html and http://www.fanaticus.org/DBA/events/Historicon/2005/RuleroftheNile.html

Here are a few images of such maps:

Frozen River in Prussia:

http://www.wadbag.com/events/BalticCrusades05/Prussia4.jpg

Fall in the Marshes of Siauliai:

http://www.wadbag.com/events/BalticCrusades05/Saul3.jpg

Ice Battle on Lake Peipus:

http://www.wadbag.com/events/BalticCrusades05/Peipus7.jpg

Super Ramses at Qadesh:

http://www.fanaticus.org/DBA/events/Historicon/2005/Nile2.jpg

winterbadger
03-26-2011, 10:05 AM
I am trying to win skeptcis over to playing it with our group, and quite frankly the "High Ag number mostly loses terrain" is proving one of the tougher selling features.

I play Battlefront WWII at my local club. The fact that each army doesn't get the same number of points (that, in fact there are no points) and that armies perform the way they did historically, rather than--on average--winning half their battles and losing half of them has meant that I don't win over some of the Flames of War players, who are only interested in "perfectly matched" exactly "equal" games that have nothing to do with history. I weep no tears over this.

Winterbadger, why shouldn't terrain be 50/50? I can't think of any philosophical reason it shouldn't. Perhaps LH and Ax/Ps armies can get some benefit, thus potentially eliminating the problem army matchup altogether, or severely limiting it.

It's one thing to say "problem army terrain matchups can't be fixed, or even improved". It's quite another to say they shouldn't be.

Sorry, but to me the question is "Why SHOULD terrain be 50/50?" It wasn't in real life, so why should it be in the game? It's part of the historical element of the game. Why shouldn't my Wallachian army have some Pike and Artillery--I like both of those element types, and my army might win more if I had some. But it doesn't--because the historical Wallachians had lots of light foot and light horse and didn't carry a whole lot of pikes and bombards with them.

If your argument were that a particular army were misrepresented by its list or its aggression factor or its terrain, I might find your argument worth a listen. I think Rich makes a good point about the current system, in that it automatically combines strategic defender+terrain+terrain layout+tactical defender in one lump. That wasn't necessarily the case historically, so it might be interesting to try and break that up.

But your argument seems to be "I'd like these armies to win more in tournament matchups, often against ahistorical opponents, just because I like the army and I want things to be FAIR". Life is not fair. :) If you want even, points-based games with no historical context, I suggest sticking to HOTT.

ferrency
03-26-2011, 10:28 AM
In our two games last night, JM and I tried out the terrain adjustment rules as described in Rich's first post in this thread. We played on a 30" board (don't tell Larry). Here are the results.

Game 1:
JM defended with Hittites against my Mitanni, so he wanted less terrain than I did. He placed a road and two woods, with one wood approximately 599 paces from the center of the board.

My terrain rolls allowed me to move the wood that was close to the center, so I pushed it outside 600 paces, allowing me to place another piece of terrain. (Unfortunately, I squandered this opportunity by not placing close enough to the center.)

Overall, pushing the woods out of the center felt a bit cheesy, but now that we know it's a possibility, it just requires placement within 500 paces of the center to be sure to avoid it. If that's as bad as it gets, no worries.

Game 2:
JM's Hawaiians defended against my Leidang, and once again he wanted less terrain than I did. I never rolled a 1-2, so there was no terrain movement or addition.

However, I'm sure his terrain placement was affected by the fact that I would be able to place central terrain if he didn't protect against it. I was able to take advantage of the "central" terrain he placed.

From my perspective, since the rules would have benefitted me (if anyone) in both games, I found no reason not to play with the terrain adjustment rules in the future. They had at least as much effect on initial terrain placement as they had in actually moving the terrain.

In retrospect, another way to protect against the attacker adding a piece of central terrain would be to place the maximum amount of bad going allowed, in non-central locations, to prevent the attacker from legally adding a piece. A 100p adjustment doesn't really prevent a pool table in this situation on a 30" board, but as has been discussed, there's only so much you can (or need to) do.


On an unrelated note, we considered trying the Fast Spear rules in the Hittite vs Mitanni matchup, but we decided it would unbalance things even further in the Hittites' favor. Mitanni would lose its maneuverability advantage and its bad going advantage.

Alan

Rich Gause
03-26-2011, 10:40 AM
Sounds like it worked as designed. Glad you liked it. I have also noticed a lot of people placing some BGo near the center to avoid allowing the attacker a chance to do so.

david kuijt
03-26-2011, 11:37 AM
On an unrelated note, we considered trying the Fast Spear rules in the Hittite vs Mitanni matchup, but we decided it would unbalance things even further in the Hittites' favor. Mitanni would lose its maneuverability advantage and its bad going advantage.


On the other hand, with the Fast Spear rules the Mitanni Aux, Ps, and Hd would have been able to face the Hittite foot in the open (with care, and a slight disadvantage), which is completely impossible without it. And the Psiloi would be happy fighting the Fast Spear in the open or bad going. I think odds would be about even, with or without the Fast Spear rule. Either way, the Mitanni foot are a bit outmatched against the Hittite foot, and either way, if the Hittites don't get their foot stuck in to the enemy foot, they're going to lose the mobile battle.

Gascap
03-26-2011, 12:29 PM
Game 2:
JM's Hawaiians defended against my Leidang, and once again he wanted less terrain than I did. I never rolled a 1-2, so there was no terrain movement or addition.

However, I'm sure his terrain placement was affected by the fact that I would be able to place central terrain if he didn't protect against it. I was able to take advantage of the "central" terrain he placed.

Yes, my terrain placement and choices were both affected by the possibility that you could move and possibly place terrain.

To protect against the first possibility (moving terrain), two of the pieces I placed: the steep hill and one of the woods, were only one base width apart. There was only so much legal movement, and then basically only in one direction, that you could do in this case. This time I cheesed a bit, but again "If that's as bad as it gets, no worries."

I also prevented Alan from being able to put down a third piece of terrain by putting down all three optional pieces. If I had wanted a pool a table (and I didn't) I would have put three postage stamps down. In other words, and especially on a 30" board, it's still largely possible to put down a pool table. I'm not sure this is terrible; the new rules successfully prevent a lot of other classic ploys, and this alone makes them an improvement.

From my perspective, since the rules would have benefitted me (if anyone) in both games, I found no reason not to play with the terrain adjustment rules in the future. They had at least as much effect on initial terrain placement as they had in actually moving the terrain.

And in the end, even though Alan got to move and place a piece of terrain in our Hittites vs. Mitanni game, I still liked the rules. Even though Alan didn't get to move anything or place anything in the second game, I had to place terrain with the new rules in mind, and I still liked the rules. :up

It's worth noting, as Alan mentioned in his post, that we used 30" boards. Given that the maximum and minimum sizes for terrain don't change relative to the board size, the ability to place a new piece of terrain is more significant on a smaller board. However, since we both like 30" boards, if we're going to use on house rule (the terrain rules), we might as well use them all. :)

JM

broadsword
03-26-2011, 03:33 PM
Ahh, David, too bad they didn't work out.

Mine were made of styrospan (Like Tim in Saskatchewan, I think) and thery are light, portable, stackable and the rivers come out quite nicely sunken down just a bit. I also use the canvas maps as well, and have plans to make up a few "historical" maps too.

Winterbadger, I'm afraid your post just... takes my breath away. Wow.:o

FWIW I don't even trust the government to buy my healthcare for me. I certainly am not going to obey your instructions concerning what game I ought to play. :2up

Sorry, mate, but if a discussion forum is to mean anything, then people are going to raise issues you object to. Unless you'd just prefer that the forum degenerate into mindless accolytes worshipping at the more experienced players's feet.

You could learn from David about how to disagree from a position of experience and understanding, and in a way that actually enlightens. But really, people like you make me unsurprised that Phil isn't more interested in this forum, and its contents. I had high school teachers just like him! :silly

winterbadger
03-26-2011, 05:25 PM
FWIW I don't even trust the government to buy my healthcare for me. I certainly am not going to obey your instructions concerning what game I ought to play. :2up

Chum, play whatever you want to play, and play it however you want to. That's every gamers' prerogative. I'm just making a suggestion in hopes that you might find something more to your taste and less frustrating.

Sorry, mate, but if a discussion forum is to mean anything, then people are going to raise issues you object to. Unless you'd just prefer that the forum degenerate into mindless accolytes worshipping at the more experienced players's feet.

:rotfl This *is* a discussion forum. That means that people will agree sometimes and disagree other times. You have to take the rough with the smooth. You posted, repeatedly, asking for support for your concept of how to change the terrain and aggression rules. I posted, repeatedly, pointing out that your underlying concept isn't in keeping with the ethos of a the game, as I understand it.

I'm certainly not experienced, compared to some. And I can't imagine anyone worshiping at my feet. :D I just express my opinions. I occasionally snark a bit, and I don't do it as subtly as some, but them's the breaks. I'm sorry if you don't like being disagreed with, but that happens in discussions.

You could learn from David about how to disagree from a position of experience and understanding, and in a way that actually enlightens.

There are many things I can learn from DK. :up He's far more sublte than I am.

broadsword
03-26-2011, 06:19 PM
Winterbadger, I do know the difference between being disagreed with, and being trolled.

I am NOT repeatedly asking for support for a position. I am attempting to DISCUSS the merits and demerits of a terrain generation system. I have no interest in playing HotT or that's what I'd be doing, right? (Geez...:sick)

Your defence of the terrain generation system in DBA is rather strange, considering you, DK and many others seem to agree that as it is written, it is broken. Hence the "Terrain Adjustment System" of this thread.

I am merely positing "why stop there?". Your defence of why is quite frankly unconvincing. David's is far, far better, although I maintain that this could be improved upon.

One way to do so is to note (as is historically accurate) that armies that spent time scouting, or liaising with the locals often found better ground to fight on. Commander ability was also relevant. I'm willing to bet, however, that the least accurate method of predicting which army won terrain, was how aggressive both nations were in invading their neighbours. If you think that is accurate, or the best system, please defend it WITHOUT simply saying "this is the way I know and love".